chainsaw chain direction

The best way to chainsaw Chain Direction | Chainsawlab

One of the most stressful experiences when working with chainsaws is rushing to put it back when the chainsaw breaks during work. Knowing the right chainsaw chain direction to fix the chain is a skill you need to master. Getting this wrong will cost you a lot of time. Imagine dealing with a broken chain, putting it back together, only to find out that the direction you have set is all wrong, and you have to stop and redo the fixing

The good news is that you only need a few pointers to master how to get the chain fixing for a chainsaw right. By the end of this guide, you will have a clear direction on how to go about it and a few additional tips to help you handle the chain for your chainsaw as a professional.


List of Contents

How Do You Get the Chain Direction Correctly?

You have a broken chain, what next? First, do not panic. You might have a little time left to finish your work, but there is no reason to make the situation worse. The more at ease you are, the more you will be able to concentrate on fixing your chain and getting back to work as soon as possible. The following steps will help you get the chainsaw chain direction right and fast.

Find Adequate Space

After you are sure that you have caught the right amount of breath, make room for the replacement. This will help you see all your tools, parts of the chainsaw when you dismantle it and avoid unnecessary accidents. You can make it easier by laying down either a newspaper, cardboard, or a plain paper big enough to occupy the space you wish to use.

Dismantle your chainsaw and chain and clean the bar and chain

You cannot fix your chain well without getting its parts apart first. Open the side cases and remove the bar and chain if the string has not entirely fallen off. Clean off any debris and sawdust on the chain and bar to make it easier for you to connect them back together. A paintbrush will come in handy when cleaning out the sawdust. Use a chainsaw wrench to loosen the two nuts of the bar. This helps in relieving tension from the bar.

Get the chain direction right

After everything is clean and ready to be put back together, it is now time to make sure that the chainsaw chain direction is correct. There are three things that will help you determine the right direction. These are the drive link, the cutter, and the guide. The following steps will explain further:


  • Make sure that the drive link is pointing forward. This is the piece that helps in fitting the chain on the groove of the bar. It is wave-like in shape, and the small wave should be pointing in the direction of the bar’s end.


  • Ensure that the cutter points forward. The cutter is the central cutting part of a chainsaw, thus the origin of its name. The shape of its metal will let you know the direction it is facing, though sometimes you might be required to fill it to tell the path, this is not a recommended way of doing it. For safety purposes, try as much a possible to know by its look, else, always make sure you have leather gloves on when replacing a chainsaw’s chain.


  • The final step is to make sure that the guide comes right ahead of the cutter. Do not mistake the manual for a cutting blade. It works to balance the chunk of wood being worked on by the chainsaw in every operation per period. When the guide is right ahead of the cutter, it shows that the cutter is facing forward as it should.



Replace and Assemble

When you finally get the direction right, you can now put the chain back on the bar and fit your parts together.

Is the Chain’s Tension Right?

To make sure that you have a rightly running the chain, you need to ensure that the tension is right. This will be better and a bonus for having the chainsaw chain direction right. It is essential that the chain remains tight enough; not too tight and not too loose either. At the sides of the chainsaw’s panel, you will see some nuts. Loosen them and use a tension control screw to tighten them by turning them to the right. Make sure that the chain moves freely when pulled.


The best way to handle any piece of equipment is by maintaining it right, and this includes knowing how to replace broken parts and using them right. Getting a chainsaw chain direction right will give you a head start in handling your chainsaw and securing your job. The above guide, when followed step by step, will make it easy for you to master chainsaw maintenance.

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